New Jersey Law

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Insurance Carrier Must Reimburse Employee for Cost of Medical Marijuana

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In a case of first impression the New Jersey Appellate Division decided that an insurance carrier must reimburse an employee for the cost of medical marijuana. The court said:

Because we conclude the order does not require M&K to possess, manufacture or distribute marijuana, but only to reimburse petitioner for his purchase of medical marijuana, we discern no conflict between the CSA and MMA. Furthermore, M&K's compliance with the order does not establish the specific intent element of an aiding and abetting offense under federal law. We also conclude M&K is not a private health insurer. Therefore, it is not excluded under the MMA from reimbursing the costs of medical marijuana. Here, where petitioner has demonstrated the severity and chronic nature of his pain, his attempts to unsuccessfully alleviate the pain with multiple surgeries and medical modalities, and the validated efficacy of the prescribed medical marijuana, we find the use of medical marijuana is reasonable and necessary. Finding no legislative or legal barrier to an employer's reimbursement of its employee's expense for medical marijuana in a workers' compensation setting, we affirm the order.

This decision will have significant implications for employers in the State of New Jersey. Richard Flaum., esq who leads the labor and Employment group at the firm is ready to answer your questions regarding the implications of this groundbreaking opinion. Richard can be reached at 908-912-5907

CATEGORIES: Medical Marijuana

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